Though at the beginning of March the warm winter weather had left the garlic bed in really good shape — green tops popping out everywhere from under the mulch — our recent cold snaps have left it a shambles:
You can see that there are some green tops left on either end. The few that look good are quite strong and healthy:
And the ones that are not? They’re really aren't doing well at all:
Most of the bed is like this, with formerly vigorous shoots all crumpled and dead.
The other day I poked around to see what the problem is. The (former) leaves pulled right off the clove, rotted:
This could be an issue caused by keeping the mulch on too late into the spring, since it warmed up so much in February and early March — there was a lot of new growth early on. But then as soon as we did finally pull up the mulch, it dropped to very cold temperatures for weeks. This was a lose-lose situation, for sure.
I dug up one of the apparently dead ones to get a look at what was going on with the clove under the soil:
And I was pretty happy to see new growth starting up! That little shoot is still way below ground, but I’m hoping that a lot more of our garlic is in the same condition, just tucked out of sight (for now).
It also has a really strong root system:
I planted this back in the same spot, and am hoping that in another week or two we see a bunch of new growth in the garlic bed. These might not ever result in massive heads of garlic now, but even a smaller harvest will be better than nothing!